Friday, February 29, 2008

From The Star Tribune: "Pawlenty Said That Tax Increases Were A Non-Starter"

"As he has in the past, Pawlenty said that tax increases were a non-starter. 'I will not be supporting a tax increase to get revenue into the system,' he said." Source: Star Tribune, February 29, 2008

Click here for the complete story.


While Governor Pawlenty rules out tax increases to solve the budget deficit, DFL legislative leaders refuse to rule out tax increases.

Pawlenty Calls for Overhaul of Tax Code

This is great.

In the aftermath of the passage of the biggest tax increase in Minnesota history (over his veto), Governor Pawlenty is calling for fundamental change in the way we collect taxes in the state of Minnesota.

All too often, our tax and spending priorities are completely backwards.

  • We tax productivity to spend on idleness.
  • We avoid user fees for non-essential government services, and increase taxes to spend on services the taxpayers will never use.
  • We say we can't afford to do the things Government is supposed to do, and turn around and spend millions on a host of programs Government should never touch.
  • We concoct and convolute spending formulas that are constantly amended and virtually never evaluated.
What a breath of fresh air that Governor Pawlenty is going to address this.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty is creating a tax reform commission that will aim to update the state's tax code.

In a statement, Pawlenty called the current system of taxation outdated and said reworking it would improve Minnesota's competitive position with other states and countries.

In his executive order on Friday, Pawlenty mandated the commission and called for changes to the tax code that will promote long-term economic prosperity. (Click on Excerpt to see article in its entirety)

Minnesota is one of the highest taxed states in the country, and Minnesotans generally have become quite adverse to the overly burdensome and questionably effective tax and spend policies of our government.

I contend that if the GOP brand hadn't been tainted in DC by excessive spending and scandal over the past few years, the GOP in Minnesota would be dominating elections in large part because of the punitive taxation and escalating and esoteric (and not in a good way) spending by state government here.

Governor Pawlenty has taken on this problem step by step in a very prudent way. He solved the largest per capita budget deficit in the nation a few years back without raising taxes. He has wielded his veto pen like Lancelot.

And now he is going to take a major overhaul of the whole code right to the people (the people who reelected him in the worst Republican year in a generation).

Thanks Governor for your vision and foresight!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

AP: "Governor lashes back; says override will spark 'tax revolt'"

"Pawlenty sternly rebuked lawmakers who voted to override his veto of a bill raising the gas tax, local sales taxes and vehicle registration fees to pay for $6.6 billion in transportation projects. Eight Republicans in the Legislature joined every Democrat in supporting the first successful override attempt during Pawlenty's tenure.

'You can mark the calendar, yesterday will be the day that began a tax revolt in Minnesota,' Pawlenty said. The bill, he added, 'took a bucket of tax increases and dumped it on the head of Minnesotans.'

He predicted the bill will haunt DFL House members campaigning for re-election this fall.'" Source: Associated Press, February 26, 2008

Click here for the complete story.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Statement from Governor Pawlenty Regarding DFL Override

Saint Paul – The following is a statement from Governor Tim Pawlenty regarding the override of the Governor’s veto of an approximately $7 billion tax increase, including a gas tax increase, license tab tax increase, sales tax increase, car rental tax increase and a new excise tax on vehicle purchases.

"The DFL-controlled legislature's override of this veto shows they're clearly out-of-touch with Minnesotans who are facing rising gas prices, heating costs and other expenses in tough economic times. Raising taxes is always the DFL’s go-to solution and that's bad for Minnesota’s families and our economy.

"While the federal government is issuing tax rebate checks, Democrats in Minnesota have decided to burden our families with hundreds of dollars a year in new taxes to pay for a massive $7 billion tax increase."

Legislators On the Floor Now to Increase Taxes over Governor Pawlenty's Veto

Governor Pawlenty, who normally skates out when playing hockey, has found himself playing goalie in recent times against massive tax increases.

As I type this, the state legislature is in the process of trying to remove our goalie for the taxpayer. They are working today to override Governor Pawlenty's veto of this huge tax hike.

Governor Pawlenty has made it abundantly clear that he opposes the override of his veto.

Stay tuned as the debate takes shape over the next hour or so.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Line: Let's Get Serious About VeepStakes!

Chris Cillizza over at "The Fix" (The Washington Post Political Blog) has an interesting piece on the VeepStakes.

Just as everyone who is looking at McCain's options with any credibility has done, he places Governor Pawlenty high on the list of prospects.

* Tim Pawlenty: The two-term Minnesota governor has to be considered the frontrunner at the moment to be McCain's pick. He hails from the electorally important Midwest, is young enough to balance concerns about McCain's age, and he stuck by the Arizona senator in the darkest days of the campaign. The criticism that Pawlenty is an unknown on the national stage may, in fact, be an argument in his favor -- voters won't bring any preconceived notions about him to the ticket. Never forget that one of the guiding principles in picking a VP is to find someone who is comfortable being seen but not heard. Want more about the man they call "Tpaw"? Make sure to read Jonathan Martin's profile of the man.

(Click here for the entire post)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pawlenty Orders State Hiring Freeze

"With darkness gathering on the fiscal horizon, Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Tuesday imposed an immediate hiring freeze across state government that could leave all but the most critical unfilled positions vacant.

In the few cases where vacant positions are filled, Pawlenty said in a letter on Tuesday, 'every hiring decision must be overseen ... and the reasons for filling the position must be submitted in writing to the Commissioner of Employee Relations.'

There were no immediate estimates on the savings such a move could yield, but state officials know they must prepare for an economic outlook that is increasingly dire.

The state's $373 million projected deficit is expected to grow substantially when the state's economic forecast is released next week. In addition, unemployment rates are on the rise and income growth has slowed. The imminent prospect of a merger between Northwest Airlines, one of the state's largest employers, and rival Delta Airlines has added to the financial turmoil." Source: Star Tribune, February 20, 2008

Click here for the complete story.


"'This is one way that state government can do its share as we deal with a budget deficit,' said Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung. 'We know the deficit is expected to grow and state government has to live within its means.'" Source: Star Tribune, February 20, 2008

Click here for the complete story.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Bloggosphere Abuzz With Pawlenty for Veep Talk

The term "conventional wisdom" may be just a bit premature with reference to the idea that Senator McCain should choose Governor Pawlenty as his Vice-Presidential running mate, but the bloggosphere and even the mainstream media is certainly abuzz with discussion of all the reasons it is the perfect fit (oddly enough, many pundits and analysts seem to agree with our T-Paw Top Ten)

Aside from a healthy discussion of this topic on today's "Meet the Press" here is a small sample of some of the discussion from around the bloggosphere.

Steadfast McCain ally sparks veep talk (Jonathan Martin, Politico)

Even through the McCain campaign’s darkest days in 2007, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty remained a steadfast ally to the Arizona senator in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
Vin Weber, a Minnesota congressman-turned-Washington-lobbyist who is one of Pawlenty’s biggest boosters, ticks off the list of appealing traits.

“First of all, his age is attractive,” Weber says, hinting at the nearly quarter-century difference between his fellow Minnesotan and the 71-year-old McCain. “Second, he’s from outside Washington. Third, he represents a battleground part of the country. And he has a nice balance of, on one hand being totally acceptable to the conservative wing of the party, especially to social conservatives, but at the same time sharing a couple of key maverick strains of thought with McCain.”

Weber isn't Pawlenty's only Washington admirer. Sara Taylor, former White House political director and a veteran of both Bush-Cheney campaigns, contacted this reporter to offer unsolicited observations on the governor.

Declining to say how she got wind of the story, Taylor lavished praise on Pawlenty. "By far, he's the strongest candidate" to serve as McCain's running mate, she said.

"He's a conservative, rock-n-roll Republican and is counterintuitive to the party stereotype that we're old and rich,” says Taylor, who recalled visiting St. Paul and finding the governor jamming in his office to recording artist Bruce Springsteen. “He's young and blue-collar."

And, Taylor said, in a potential race against the 46-year-old Barack Obama, Pawlenty would be "as good as our party has for that [matchup]."

There is another key factor working in Pawlenty’s favor. Unlike Weber, until last week a top policy adviser to Mitt Romney, the governor was an early and active McCain supporter, helping to lobby fellow governors as early as December 2006, and he stayed loyal through the unpleasantness last year.

“He stuck with us through thin,” says senior McCain adviser Charlie Black. “He went anywhere we asked and did anything we asked him to do.

“He is a rising star in the party,” adds Black. (Excerpts from article. Click here to read in its entirety).

Governor Tim Pawlenty- The Right man for VP

Many news sources are reporting that Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota is near the top of most of Senator John McCain’s lists for Vice President of the United States. I am one person who thinks that he should be at the very top of all
of those lists.

I became a fan of Governor Pawlenty last year when I had the opportunity to see him speak at CPAC. At that time I did not know much about him other than he was the Republican Governor of Minnesota and a steadfast supporter of my candidate for President Senator John McCain. I was impressed by his articulate speech and ideas for the Republican party.

After coming home from the convention I took the time to look into Pawlenty’s past and learned that he came from a working class background and was the first in his family to go to college. Pawlenty did not rely on anyone but himself to make himself someone, which is one of things I think is a fundemental Republican principle. When many people think of Republicans they think of country club rich people, but that mold most certainly does not fit Pawlenty who still from time to time plays pick up ice hockey.

So Pawlenty is young, smart, energetic, charasmatic, and conservative. It is for these and many more reasons that I hope that Senator John McCain chooses Governor Tim Pawlenty to be his running mate in this crucial election. I urge my fellow Republicans to do some research on Governor Pawlenty and i believe as well you will become a supporter of his too. (Excerpts from Article. Click here to read in its entirety).
And there is so much more.

We'll continue to track this developing story of bloggers and Conservatives all across the country beginning to advocate form Governor Pawlenty to be chosen as Senator McCain's running mate this fall.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

T-Paw Top Ten

Obviously there has been a lot of buzz all across the country about Governor Pawlenty being chosen as Senator McCain's Vice Presidential running mate. It is becoming widely recognized that he is the natural choice (and in fact, would have been for a few of the candidates before McCain became the presumptive nominee).

I'm no David Letterman, and in fact none of these are even vaguely funny, but I thought it would be good for our readers to see a top ten list of reasons why Senator McCain should (and I believe must) choose Governor Pawlenty has his running mate.

T-Paw Top Ten

  1. Fiscal Conservative Leader – During the last few years when many have felt the GOP has lost its way on spending and fiscal discipline, Governor Pawlenty solved an historic budget deficit (the largest per capita in the country) without raising taxes. (while keeping a lid on spending too!)

  1. Unabashed Social Conservative – Governor Pawlenty signed into law three of the most important pieces of pro-life legislation in a generation, stood steadfast in support of the marriage amendment, and has dramatically reshaped the Minnesota Supreme Court; appointing Conservative Justices who strictly interpret the Constitution rather than making law from the bench.

  1. Minnewissawa Votes and Media – Not only will Governor Pawlenty be an effective advocate in the key swing region of the upper Midwest, but he has already run and won statewide twice in a media market that covers significant portions of Iowa and Wisconsin (along with Minnesota). If the GOP needs to pick a southerner just to win the south this election, we’ve already lost. (Click Here)

  1. Young and Energetic Voice – Governor Pawlenty is a 47 year old hockey playing, marathon running, roller blader who is known for being a tireless campaigner and more importantly a tireless public servant. (Seriously, his young staff can’t keep up).

  1. Attractive to the Conservative Base – Governor Pawlenty can effectively rally the Christian Conservative part of the GOP base as an Evangelical Christian who attends one of Minnesota’s largest Mega-Churches where his pastor is the President of the National Association of Evangelicals.

  1. “Sams Club Republican” – Governor Pawlenty, the son of a truck driver in a blue collar neighborhood, can take our economically conservative message directly to the economically disadvantaged and downtrodden with credibility and persuasiveness (he’s done exactly that time and time again). He is the first member of his family to graduate from college and remains closely connected to his blue collar roots.

  1. Loyal Team Player – Governor Pawlenty was a McCain supporter when it was hard, and not necessarily cool to be a McCain supporter. We don’t need a fair-weather friend campaigning as McCain’s running mate. Governor Pawlenty is a friend and a believer in the leadership of Senator McCain.

  1. Executive Leadership – Governor Pawlenty is a Conservative outside-the-beltway maverick executive who is a perfect compliment for an inside-the-beltway maverick leader. He can help fix Washington!

  1. Straight Talk with a Smile – Governor Pawlenty is known in Minnesota as an exceedingly honest, boy scout-like public servant. He tells it like it is, and whether you agree or disagree with him, you end up liking him and believing he is doing what he believes to be right.

  1. Mrs. Pawlenty – And of course we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out his amazing wife (his Red Hot Smokin’ Wife as the Governor likes to say) who is an articulate former Judge currently sitting on the board of a conservative Christian college. Mary Pawlenty is a great asset on the campaign trail!

Check back often to "Party of Pawlenty" as we track the legislative session and the Vice-Presidential selection process.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

State Of The State: Pawlenty’s Veto Pen Is Inked Up And Ready

During his 2008 State of the State Address delivered today in St. Cloud, Governor Tim Pawlenty had a clear message for DFL legislators: don't even think about raising taxes on Minnesota families and businesses. It's clear that the Governor is fired up and ready to fight for taxpayers. The only surprising thing is the DFL's extraordinary desire to hit Minnesotans with a number of tax increases — gas tax, license tab tax, sales tax, income tax, etc. — when citizens are already facing $3 a gallon gas and other burdens.

I encourage all of the dedicated readers of Minnesota Democrats Exposed and Party of Pawlenty who support the Governor's tough stand against tax increases to email him today at and thank him for protecting Minnesota taxpayers…and email your state legislators and ask them not to attach the "jumper cables to your wallet."

Here are some excerpts from the Governor's State of the State Address today:

"As we tackle the deficit, we must remember that Minnesota'shardworking families are already squeezed enough. They're paying morefor gas, food, and health care. The last thing they need is government rummaging around in their pockets looking for more. Government must learn to live within its means. We should not add to the burden on Minnesota families by raising their taxes."

"The well-being of the people we serve depends on their ability to have good-paying jobs. That, in turn, depends upon the willingness ofcompanies to invest, stay, and grow in Minnesota. However, Minnesota's tax policies, job climate, and large government discourage economic growth. We need to reduce taxes and regulations thatdiscourage job growth, income generation, investment, entrepreneurialactivity, research, and exports."

"I still have an important tool to restrain taxes and spending. I call it the taxpayer protection pen, otherwise known as the veto pen. As you know, I will not hesitate to use it to stop government fromdigging into your wallets."

"We should also protect homeowners from unreasonable property tax increases. So once again, I call for Minnesota to join the many states that have capped property taxes."

MN GOP Press Release: “Republican Party Of Minnesota Commends Governor Pawlenty’s State Of The State Address”

St. Paul- Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Ron Carey today issued the following statement regarding Governor Pawlenty's State of the State address.

"I commend Governor Pawlenty for his strong opposition to Democrat tax increases on Minnesota families and businesses. At a time when many Minnesotans are being squeezed, the last thing we need are more Democrat tax hikes. By making government live within its means, Governor Pawlenty continues to hold government accountable for results."

Governor Pawlenty to Deliver "State of the State"

Governor Pawlenty will deliver the annual State of the State Address from St. Cloud this morning.

As the gavel fell this week to begin the session, a flurry of tax hikes and regulations seem to define the road ahead from the legislative body. I will be watching for how Governor Pawlenty addresses these and other issues when he steps up to the mic in St. Cloud.

Here are all of the details of the address. You can watch the speech live via Webcast by clicking on the link towards the bottom of this post.

Feb. 13. 11 a.m. STATE OF THE STATE _ Gov. Tim Pawlenty delivers State of the State address. Media should RSVP to obtain credentials by 5 p.m. Feb. 5

Location: St. Cloud Civic Center, 10 S. Fourth Ave., St. Cloud

Contacts: Alex Carey, (651) XXX-XXXX

Click here for State of the State live webcast, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 11:00 a.m.

Click Here for Replay of the Speech